Ramblings

Sep. 17th, 2010 02:41 pm
selene_13: (Default)
[personal profile] selene_13
I'm glad that week's over: Frustrating days at work when others aren't doing their work as they're supposed to (as in, I tell them we need promotional material at an important conference I'm going to, I even tell them what they can do, but have to trust they will do it because I don't have the time to do their job for them, and then they deliberate over it, and a little more, hem and hum, la di da, and 2 weeks later tell me "oh we actually haven't got anything yet, and now it's too late to send over any shipment so we'll just drop it", leaving me with nothing to show for when I go meet these important people... gah!).

Anyway, I sort of sabotaged myself by leaving a big pile of manuscripts on my desk that I was going to check today (free day, but I'm two weeks out of the office soon so need to finish this stuff), and then getting into my car home without them. So, now I do have a free day after all. Oh well! :D

This week I saw the movie Four Lions, a British farcical satire about four jihadists in London. The guys are thick as bricks and have an ideology that's ridiculous (disparaging Western consumerism even while recording their (blooper) threats on camera, referencing Mortal Kombat and playing with their cell phones in Pakistan), but the film manages at the same time to carry a message that shows how far people, even people who hardly have a clue what they're doing or getting manipulated into, will go. In the end, it was quite tragic - tragi-comic I should say.

The subject is of course a touchy one. During the film five people walked out of the theatre, but I really enjoyed it. It had me in stitches, but it's message in the end was clear, and you have to accept that for what it is. It's a very sensitive topic, and some people might feel it's one too serious to toy with, but in reviews I've seen it compared to Charlie Chaplin mocking Hitler, as in mocking that which is fearsome, to disempower it. And I like that analogy.

I remember reading about a similar anecdote, where a guy infiltrated a white rights supremist group in the US whose membership was on the rise, and then what he'd pick up at their meetings was publicly mocked on the radio: All the ridiculous nick names and safe words and rites and rituals were made fun off, and that caused their popularity and membership to drop. People couldn't take them serious anymore because their little club was exposed as intrinsically silly (despite the terrible things they did besides that). And so by mocking what is threatening, you disempower it.

It doesn't take away the threat per say, but maybe disparages some people from joining what's been exposed as destructive ideology. And anyway, better to laugh than to cry at life.

(I'm pretty sure that last anecdote was from Gladwell's The Tipping Point).
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